Narrative Matters in Intercultural Learning - contributions from Jerome Bruner
Author(s)Ana Gonçalves Matos
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AbstractThis article will argue that literary texts, or narrative as art form in Jerome Bruners phrasing (1986, p.15), can act as a catalyst for intercultural learning. Jerome Bruner, inter alia, has developed concepts that contribute to clarify and account for the inherent connection between the experience of reading liter - ary texts and interculturality. Bruners view of culture as a forum, a space of negotiation, of interpretation, of (re)creation of meaning, seems most appro - priate from an educational perspective informed by intercultural objectives. Intercultural learning is a complex process of (re)negotiating mean - ing and interaction with literary texts is a powerful means in contrib - uting to this as it offers cultural forms within contextualized settings. As readers realize that products, values and beliefs correspond to social and cultural constructions and that cultural differences come from the way dif - ferent cultures re-present reality, they become more competent interpreters and readers of our fascinating and problematic world. Our society is markedly heterogeneous. The more conscious the reader is of how his/her actions are culturally determined, the more sharply he/she can assume or oppose them. Ultimately the value of literary texts in this perspective lies in contributing to an appreciation of diversity and to an awareness of realities as created and of interpretation and negotiation as tools to mediate our relations with one another.